Porter Dodson Partner Helen Williams investigates further.
In a tangle over Japanese Knotweed…
Options: Yes, No, Don’t Know…
These were the responses available to a vendor of a property in London whose claim by the purchaser has recently hit the headlines.
The claim arises from the vendor in this case asserting ‘no’ to the question ‘has the property been affected by knotweed’.
Having since bought the property and moved in, the purchaser became aware that knotweed was present and so he brought a claim against the vendor for £32,000, representing the cost of investigations and removal, and diminution in value to the property for suffering the invasive species.
The Judge in this case found against the vendor: ‘no’ was not an accurate response as there was evidence of previous treatment to the knotweed. Also that the canes had been 2 metres high at some stage during his ownership of the property.
The vendor was ordered to pay over £200,000 for damages and costs, including his own. This underlines how important it is to answer questions raised by purchasers accurately, and the potentially costly implications of misrepresentation of the facts in a property purchase.
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